Gads, I can't believe it has been over a month since I last posted here! Of course, maintaining lots of blogs--it has now grown to four, is challenging and insane, but even so. My last post here was still swimming upstream and that hasn't changed, which I suspect is why I haven't posted in awhile. I love all the things I'm doing, but some days it is hard to keep it all straight, so to speak.
Anyway, here is a quick update and hopefully photos will follow on another post soon! Let's get the health update first as it is boring. I had a very nasty spell with my bad back, which really laid me low for several weeks. I have a great chiropractor and he had concluded that when I fell on the gym floor playing badminton in my stocking feet (not my fault I might add as we were required to do that once because of some resurfacing of the gym floor issues) when I was in eighth grade and I fractured my tailbone, that I did damage which has come back to haunt me. I've had problems with my left sacroiliac joint since I was in my late forties and it is just nasty at times. But at the moment, it is doing much better, for which I am most grateful. I've also found a new massage therapist--so hated to see my old one move away--and she (the new one) does hot rock massage which I am really enjoying! I've seen her twice now and I am glad friends recommended her. I had also tried another massage therapist and I made the mistake (for me and you'll soon see why) of going for a deep tissue massage and then not having her stop when it really hurt because I thought that was what a deep tissue massage was. Anyway, the massage actually increased my chronic pain levels which had been getting worse slowly all on their own. I went to see my doctor after that and turns out that my reactions to the massage, coupled with a lot of other things, gave my doctor the data she needed for a real diagnosis and it turns out I have fibromyalgia. For people suffering with that a deep tissue massage can really cause problems, so now I know and I'll stick to the hot rocks! But the diagnosis has allowed my doctor to set up a new treatment plan and I am glad to know what is going on, why I have such pain issues everywhere not to mention the fatigue and a few other things, but I also realize that this is a very hard thing to treat. So that's my health update.
Sasha has had her own issues and as her vet said yesterday, Sasha is just keeping us on a roller coaster. Dr. Nell even said that when she'd gotten Sasha's blood results on Thursday they were so bad that she was ready to dig her grave, but then the ultrasound on Friday showed major improvement in her GI track, no evidence of cancer, a possible kidney infection, and a kind of stasis in her GI track that made her nauseous. So a few more meds were added and Sasha, bless her wonderful heart, is still being her usual inquisitive self and we are now on the up side of the ride. Both Nell and I are hoping the ride goes on for a long time. Sasha was diagnosed with aggressive oral cancer a year ago yesterday and given 2 months at best, but thankfully, Sasha didn't read that diagnosis. And we are so fortunate to have a magnificent vet tech, Kay, who was genuinely happy yesterday to be back to twice a day visits with Sasha and me for Sasha's meds (definitely a two person job!). Kay does this as a volunteer and it is a real blessing. We have been so lucky in all our caring health care providers for Sasha--it has been and continues to be incredible. All the other pets are thankfully doing well. Oliver has had some ear issues, Chauncey ear and skin, Poosa eyes, but all very minor. Thackeray is trying to become a vet tech (among other things) and Laoise is thankfully very healthy as she is so shy and disappears when anyone is around.
I am really enjoying my work with Student Link (Vashon's alternative high school) and having my own library to run is a dream come true. The students are all wonderful and being there three mornings a week (and thanks to budget considerations Student Link is only open three days/week) has made a huge difference to both the students and to Nan, the only teacher for 18 independent learners. I'm not only helping with math but also writing questions and assignments for world history for one student and just generally being encouraging, ready to listen, for all who come through the door.
And the big thing for me this month is National Novel Writing Month. Folks have been doing this for many years, I guess, trying to write 50,000 words in one month, but it is my first time. I've wanted to write a fantasy novel for a long, long time, but the reality is that I have never before written anything creatively. All my writing, and there has been a ton of it, has been academic. So I started writing Flash Fiction (that's my fourth and newest blog), and flash fiction has many definitions as far as word count but it is short, generally 1000 words or less. I was doing a flash fiction story a day on my blog just to get the creative juices going and I'm sure I will return to that after November, but right now I'm just posting updates on my novel progress (today is day 5 of the challenge and so far I've written 5 chapters for a total of 9223 words--my novel is called Dragon Riders and I've set it up as 30 chapters long, intending to write a chapter/day). It is pretty brazen to jump right into a novel, but I wanted to try the challenge and so far it is a lot of fun. It is taking about every bit of energy I have after Student Link, however, so I'm not doing a lot else, but that is quite fine with me. One of the Student Link students has also joined the challenge and that is truly fun to have a fellow writer whom I know.
My kitchen has gotten tiled and hopefully this week it will get grouted as well. Leigh is preparing to install the cat walks which I know will please the cats as they haven't had them since last fall. The remodel is nearing completion. The garage needs insulation and sheet rock put in, but that will not be mudded, etc. just painted since sheet rock looks horrible. But having real walls will keep the garage a bit warmer so things like paint don't freeze and it will also allow the garage to be properly organized. I think work on the garage will also be starting soon.
Ok, so that is the update from my end. I hope it won't be another month before I write again. I shall try to get a bit more organized, but my novel will take up a big chunk of writing time! Hope you are all well and getting into fall weather easily!